By Sadie Hunter
The city of Noblesville is taking advantage of a huge development opportunity at Exit 210.
At its Oct. 13 meeting, the Noblesville Common Council agreed to support the next major development at the I-69 exit – the city’s first full-service hotel and conference center – at the southwest corner of Olio Road and Tegler Drive.
The 187,700-square-foot Embassy Suites by Hilton hotel will house 198 suites at seven to eight stories high with a full-service restaurant and 5,000 square feet of meeting rooms.
The 20,000-square-foot conference center, just over half the size of Carmel’s Ritz Charles, would accommodate approximately 400 people and would be privately owned and operated.
“Hamilton County’s hospitality industry is healthy, alive, thriving. Since 2011, we’ve had an annual growth rate of about 9 percent, and we are now selling about 100,000 more hotel rooms (annually) than we did five years ago,” said Brenda Myers, president and CEO of Hamilton County Tourism. “But our weakest area of growth is really the small meetings market. In the county, we have about 200,000 square feet of conference space … but only about 7 percent of our hotel rooms are attached to meeting space, and that is the critical thing.”
Both the hotel and conference center would sit on 6.2 acres and be development by Indy-based Sun Development & Management Corp., led by its CEO, Bharat Patel.
But that’s less than half of what the entire development would be.
Five outlots will also be created, bringing up to four sit-down, non-fast food restaurants, as well and adding another 8.8 acres of development. The city says each outlot is expected to provide $50,000 annually to the city.
Financially, by way of resolution, the city has agreed to a 10-year tax abatement (100 percent for the first five years, 80 percent for the last five years) on the project.
Sun Development & Management Corp. will pay $458,000 to the city annually until two of the five outlots are occupied, in which the company’s annual payment to the city would decrease to $358,000 annually for the first five years.
In the last five years, the discount would drop to 80 percent, which would give the city $90,000 annual revenue on the property. In the 11th year, 2029, the abatement would end. At this point, the city says it expects to collect $879,000 annually.
“We have come full-circle when I look at Noblesville today and where I am and what I’m trying to do here,” said Patel, who says he has built eight successful hotels around the state by way of tax abatement.
In addition, the city will invest $6 million: $4 million in the conference center and $2 million in land development and other associated costs to the overall project.
“This will be a catalyst project for Exit 210 and another opportunity to create jobs and additional economic development for the city of Noblesville,” Mayor John Ditslear said. “The high-end hotel and conference center will be a major draw for out-of-town visitors, business guests in the high-tech business parks and tourists to Hamilton Town Center.”
City Attorney Mike Howard said the city’s Economic Development Commission or Redevelopment Commission would pay the $6 million from the proceeds of a 2016 bond issue.
The tax increment financing district set up for the area will garner revenue as a result of the project that will exceed debt payment each year for the length of the bond.
Rezoning of the land still needs to be passed through plan commission and council, but within the resolution, the city has agreed to initiate and support the passage of a zoning ordinance for the planned development.
If everything goes according to plan, the city says it expects the conference center and hotel to open at the end of 2017, with construction to begin as early as spring 2016.
A fleet of employees for both the hotel and conference center is expected, too, in more than 70 full-time jobs and 15 to 25 part-time jobs.
“This land now has an assessed value of $34,000 as farm ground,” Howard said. “We’re talking about investment anticipated on this site in excess of $30 million.”
Business booming in the southeast
Mayor Ditslear and city officials have long stood by the notion that Exit 210 has been the fastest-growing section of Noblesville in terms of hospitality, retail and dining development. In 2008, the exit welcomed its first major development, Hamilton Town Center, to be followed by continual growth in a variety of other retail stores and restaurants. Indiana’s first Cabela’s location opened at the exit Aug. 20, and the exit is also home to the Saxony Corporate Campus, which houses companies like Zevacor Molecular, Helmer Scientific and Pharmakon Pharmaceuticals. Two other hotels will neighbor the future Embassy Suites by Hilton hotel; Cambria Suites and Holiday Inn Express & Suites (currently being developed.)
By the numbers
- 15 – Acres of development
- 25,000 – Square feet of meeting and conference space
- 187,700 – Square feet of hotel space
- 198 – Planned hotel rooms and suites
- 70 – Expected full-time jobs at the hotel and conference center
- 15 to 25 – Expected part-time jobs at the hotel and conference center